Dollar Tree food and struggle

Even though there’s rarely vegan recipes, lately I’ve been enjoying watching Dollar Tree recipes. I don’t know why exactly. Perhaps a part of me worries the economy could collapse and we’ll need to really watch our budget? Maybe it’s the fact I have struggled in the past and had to cook on a strict budget? I’ve also had the desire to cook through my stockpile of food! One, my freezer design is so bad and even though I don’t have a ton of food in there, the bad design makes storage a nightmare. It’s like they assume everything you buy is in a box and most stuff I get is in bags sans box.

I personally don’t buy much from Dollar Tree food-wise after experiencing detergenty bagels. The bagels were fine. I’d had them before. But I think they shipped them with cleaning supplies. No actual cleaning products were on the bag or anything but the fragrance defeated the thin plastic bags the bagels were in and I couldn’t bring myself to eat bagels for a long time. I do like their version of Thin Mints. I haven’t had Girl Scout cookies in years, like probably over a decade? For me, they cost too much and I was never a Girl Scout so I’ve never felt obligated to buy them. But the Dollar Tree version tastes delicious to me. They taste like what I remember GS ones taste like (and I think either I’ve lucked up and they didn’t ship them with cleaning supplies or the packaging doesn’t absorb the smell).

That being said, we went this past weekend. I was hoping to find some sensory toys for my son, like kinetic sand. Our Dollar Tree didn’t have any sadly. But they do sell them somewhere! Target only sells the namebrand and wants $10 for a small bag, which for something that ends up in the floor and then the trash, I don’t really want to spend that much. But I did find some food items to buy. I got a bottle of vanilla (yeah, I know it’s not real vanilla but I like the cheap stuff just fine!), some off-brand Belvitas for a snack or a quick breakfast for the kid, some offbrand Ritz crackers (husband says they have an aftertaste but are good. I had them with vegan bologna salad and didn’t notice an aftertaste so maybe save them for something with flavor, not just eating plain.), the Thin Mints, some pancake syrup for the kiddo, frozen vegetable egg rolls (pretty big so you get one for a $1.25), and 10 veggie spring rolls (all 10 for $1.25). I also got chocolate syrup and assumed it was vegan because it always is. But this kind wasn’t. It has some whey I think. But personally, when I flub like that, I have no problem eating the food so this isn’t a big deal to me. Sometimes, though rarely, they have the veggie Jamaican patties but they only had beef and maybe jerk chicken this time so I didn’t get any. They are pretty tasty. Some vegan staples Dollar Tree does carry are beans – canned and dried, rice – both the dried kind and the microwave packs, plain pastas, canned veggies, frozen veggie & fruits mixes, breads, canned fruit, canned pasta sauce, a lot of the cookies are accidentally vegan, etc. Since I don’t live in a food desert, I avoid some stuff from Dollar Tree because of the fragrancy taste, quality or the fact you can get a better deal at Kroger or Walmart. Canned food is usually cheaper at a store like Kroger or Walmart. And the DT frozen veggies and fruits (although I’ve found the blueberries to be fine and great in pancakes and muffins and are actually cheap!) can be less good than going to a real store and probably not a money-savings. The Hunt’s canned pasta sauce and the jarred kind I’ve found before aren’t great either. Dried beans and rice are probably just as cheap at an actual grocery store and won’t taste soapy, but I think the microwave rice are priced competitively and if you have limited ways to cook, you might need them. I’ve never had any problem with the pasta or the snack foods though.

Personally, if we stumbled upon hard times, I would feel no shame in forgoing veganism. Sometimes the cheaper stuff uses small amounts of milk products. It’s also not feasible for me to eat whole beans for every meal, although that may be fine for some. Yes, I know some vegans like to claim it’s so easy and cheap to be vegan because RICE AND BEANS but that doesn’t take into account health issues (some people can’t eat beans ever unlike me who can eat them here and there) nor the fact some people, (maybe everyone if we’re honest) would get burned out on rice and beans 24/7. The Dollar Tree doesn’t sell tofu, and although that’s still a cheap protein source, places like dollar stores are the only access to food a lot of people have. Another thing some vegans say is you can’t be and you never were a true vegan if you’ll quit veganism. LOL. Okay, that’s fine. There’s too few people in this world who care about being a TRUE VEGAN so who cares? Waiting around for there to be billions of true vegans is a waste of time! Instead, I say let’s get millions and billions to care about being a fair-weather “vegan” because those numbers actually add up to matter! Honestly those with limited resources are probably eating less animal products without trying to be a veg-anything because of the cost and what is used to stretch out real meat in cheaper products so no reason to heap the burden onto people who are struggling! And if you don’t think people are really struggling out there, not enough to not be vegan, get your head out of your butt!

I hope to get back into it and help with cooking vegan affordably but always know I am not here judging you! I can afford to eat almost strictly vegan and that’s fine, but if you can’t, that’s okay too.

One thought on “Dollar Tree food and struggle

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  1. I love hearing about the inexpensive things that you can find at dollar tree. I don’t have a dollar tree convenient to me, but we do have grocery outlet. It’s amazing the cheap deals we can find on normally very expensive vegan specialty items there.

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